He didn't want this.
He wanted to stay, grab a steady hold of something solid and pure and never let go.
He wanted to have his mother look at him as she once had before, have her lips turn into a smile of pure happiness, of something genuine and not forced.
He wanted his father to place his hand over his shoulder, squeeze gently and smile down upon him, have his father tell him what a good son he was, how proud he was and would always be.
He wanted his parents to kiss and hug and laugh as his father forced his mother into dancing across the kitchen in futile attempts at diverting her attention form problems he seemed prone to always create.
He wanted potato pancakes again. Leek soup and cornbread.
He wanted them to be a family as they once had.
His eyes stung as his cheats heaved, blood rushing loudly through his head, echoing in his ears. His face felt flushed and hot, lips barely trembling.
Brown eyes focused on his parents, his mother trying to calm the situation while his father paced between angry breaths.
Sometimes he felt as if though he didn't remember where it all had gone so wrong, where things had turned from blissful and happy to this situation which was so heavy, so red and infected and dark.
But in reality, he knew. He knew the exact moment where things had gone from good to bad and then worse, he knew it all too well.
And really, it was all his fault.
He had never really meant for it to happen, haven't willed or wished for the situation, for their lives to take such a dark and twisted turn.
Though that did not matter much, as it turned out.
He had felt it early on, felt the call, the light whisper of something invisible yet powerful. His mother of course had sensed it too, had felt his potential and power even before he chose to float his favorite toy over to himself at the dinner table, his feelings seemingly in flames as his mother had told him that his teddy was not allowed while they ate.
His father had seemed frozen in time as he stared at the toy, floating right passed him as he had the spoon of soup halfway to his mouth.
There he had seen it. Felt it.
For the first time in his life, he had seen the fast flicker of fear across his father's eyes as he turned, eyes wide to look at his mother. As he followed his father's gaze, he had seen it in his mother too. The flicker of something cold and vibrating, something which seemed to grip his very core and rattle him as he had once with toys as a young baby.
He'd been five.
After that, his mother tried to teach him, but her lessons were always short, always easy and frustrating as he never felt satisfied, never challenged and weightless with exertion as he did after a day of running around the hours in a game of tag with uncle Chewie. He never felt satisfied with any of it. Which of course, in turn, made his feelings wild and unforgiving, the merest of emotion causing invisible physical action.
Still, his mother refused to teach him more, would not listen to his pretty please of just something else.
Instead, he saw it time and time again, that flicker, that quick and fleeting flash of fear, striking down like lightning from the sky.
After the fourth time, at which he had pleadingly reached for her hand and his mother had, in turn, trembled slightly as if the corners of her very being were shaking and tongue heavy as she tried to explain, tried to gently tell him no. He gave up. Not interested in pressing his mother so when fear was so clearly evident within her. When she so clearly feared him. As if though he was to hurt her.
His father was better for a time, tried to teach him how to trick a droid, how to tell them lies and not be called out on them, how to have the metal tins lie for you and how to trick and deceive during games of cards and money.
It had worked for a time, but he learned to quickly and his father left for work time and time again. He returned, of course. But each time more time had passed, his trips became longer and longer, little by little until when he returned once more, their differences fell open and evident and his father no longer attempted to gain his attention, nor affection. He simply slipped away. Pulled away little by little with every trip until he was no longer a permanent presence at his side.
And they never listened. His father distant, no longer the father he knew and he guessed, he no longer the son his father once had been so proud of. He did not listen to him, not for a hi or hello and certainly not for when Ben begged and begged for lessons by his mother, or teachings and trips of different kinds.
Whatever he said was always met by a stern glance a huffing sound of something close to contempt, of him being so beneath his father that he could not even dignify his existence with a verbal reply.
It hurt in the beginning. Tore at him like claws in his chest. Left gaping wounds which he at night, in the solitude of his room, tried to feel. He tried to find the hole which had his chest open an bleeding, tried to press his hand hard against the cavity of his chest so he could trace the insides of himself. Follow the tender edges of his heart with the pads of his fingertips. Search for the hurt, the place where he must have been punched for his entire being to hurt as he did. To ache so severely.
He never found a hole, never a physical one. No matter how he clawed at himself until blood coated the undersides of his nails.
His mother pulled away too, learned him less and less, seemed more inclined to ignore the subject of the Force and all that came with it. Instead, her eyes shined more, glazed over with fear when she thought he was not looking. When she clearly thought he could not feel it, nor hear it as her thoughts echoed loudly at night, bouncing off the walls with fear of past becoming future once more.
He was not stupid, nor an innocent child. Having grown up so close to the war which had touched the whole galaxy, he was no stranger to what had happened, to whom he was a descendant of.
And he heard them, the whispers of his power so much like that of his grandfather who had slain land and love without so much as a breath. He heard the whispers of him becoming that too, the growing fear of what his power could do.
No one ever compared him to his uncle, the savior of galaxy's and worlds, humans and others alike.
He was only ever dark and bad and evil.
But he tried, tried so very hard to be good and kind and everything expected of him which did not involve world domination and terror. He tried to learn all that his mother was doing. Tried to learn how to be fair and just, a general, a ruler people could turn to, could trust. But whispers of darkness never cased and as the question as to when he would take his mothers position after her retirement was raised, he heard talks of coops, of anarchy rather than having him as their leader.
He tried to be like his father then, only to discover that not even one of the maids children would trade fruit with him.
And then. Then that happened and his mother never looked him in the eye afterward. Never dared to meet his gaze, she only ever stared at his hairline, his chin, sometimes jaw or nose. Never his eyes. And each time, each time her eyes glistened with that fear he now had grown so familiar with.
He had tried so very, very hard to be a good son, to make his parents proud and happy, and yet, nothing was ever enough. He wasn't patient enough, wasn't strong enough, wasn't kind enough or just enough. Always was there something he did wrong, no matter how he tried to rectify the situation.
And he was so tired of it, of hurting again and again and again. Of trying but never quite reaching that finish line, of never being what they wanted, either of them.
And he was tired of crying during nights dark hours, of tracing his chest and searching his reflection for what was so severely wrong with him.
After a while it was just easier not try at all, to not care and so, he stopped.
He stopped and stuffed all feelings of fear and sadness into a dark corner of himself, stuffed it in a box and threw a lid on it as he then assembled a suit of something new, something that would not hurt, something that was no longer Ben Solo.
As he refused to hurt and try he instead faced them with anger.
How dare they.
How dare they deem him incompetent and not good enough for neither their breath nor affection. They where his parents, they were supposed to be there. To always support and comfort him.
How dare they blame this on him, this coldness which they had created, how dare they blame him for powers he had not asked for, for comparing him with a man he had not known nor seen the face of. How dare they judge him by things he had not yet done. How dare them predict him in a future so ugly and wrong and cruel.
Anger was easier to handle, was kinder on his soul as it only tasted bitter and not as metallic as blood and open wounds. And it made him stronger, was somewhat an anchor as he could focus on it, channel it and have it help him direct the Force at whatever he wished. It was by far easier than what his mother had tried to teach him, to find a calmness, a stillness within himself that did not exists, for how could he ignore the urge to cry when he was frustrated or sad? How could he ignore anger when it shone so brightly? How could he just suppress happiness and love? And how, how could he ever want to not feel those things, emotions which made everything so vastly different and bright. And yet, we're so wrong?
Anger was better, it at least allowed him to acknowledge his emotions, allowed him to feel it instead of suppressing it until he felt overwhelmed to the point of being sensitive to the touch, as if tough his skin would crack and fall of like petals of a flower, sailing to the floor. Exposing webs of fiber muscles and sensitive nerve endings, ready for the picking. It left him feeling less like a sore wound, exposed and open. He felt less suffocated, did not feel as if though his lungs were burning and all too big and heavy for his thin ribs and small frame.
Instead, he felt like fire and flames, as if the whole of him were burning brightly and strongly, outshining everything else as blood, heavy in his veins with adrenaline and power, surged through him. Made him for once, feel as if though he had power. Not them - all the other ones - but him. For once, he felt as if though he was in control and no longer a small child, ready to be trampled down by hate and fear.
But no matter how he tried, how he dressed in thick layers of anger and anger and anger. Deep down, in that dark corner, there was still hope. Love.
A love for his parents that he thought would never quite go away and a stupid so devastatingly naive hope, that maybe, maybe things would somehow go back to how they had once been and they would be a family again.
He learned rather quickly that so wasn't the case. It took his parents barely six months to speak with his uncle, make plans and set these in motion.
Despite everything, despite him barely tolerating his parents and their questionable looks, he never wanted to leave them, never wanted them to have him given away and yet, here he stood now, anger burning in him like a fire in the pit of his stomach as they had yelled and yelled and yelled of hours on end, still nothing had changed.
His father had expressed some thoughts of his own, words Ben had thought no longer capable of cutting through him, still, they had left him far to hunt for his own liking. His mother had nearly cried, several times actually, but each time gathered herself, had his father place a hand on her shoulder. Giving her strength as she spoke a word Ben was all too familiar with, one he had learned to hate.
And with that the last of him broke, that fickle hope which had burned a light yellow in the dark of him, blew out in small clouds of thin smoke. Burned out to nothing but that deep ache he had not felt for weeks. It gripped his very core, dug claws into spine, ribs, lungs and vital organs and squeezed so, so hard. Left him cold, open and still so very hollow. Eerily empty in a way he had not felt before.
They had known of his fears, of his wish to be good and kind since his first breath, yet they had left him to tackle night terror and fear on his own and now, now they had abandoned him.
Discussion over. Ben pressed a hand against his chest as he had done so many nights before, tracing corners of an invisible wound in search of his burned and hurt heart. Of that place within him which hurt so very bad. Clenching his jaw he nodded once, turned with back and body stiff as he walked down the short corridor to his room, bags needing to be packed as his uncle was just days away from picking him up, dragging him away to a planet far of to "train" or whatever pathetic excuse his mother had used as they now, all of them, were too scared to have him close, to have him hurt them.
Ben snorted harshly to himself, swallowed thickly as his eyes prickled in the corners again.
It was just an excuse to have him gone.